“Someday my prince will come….”
This thought occupied my mind all day and night for the majority of my childhood and teenage years. Looking back on it, I think I was obsessed. I was an only child, and my imagination was often advanced for my age. I also was lonely due to lack of a father figure during my early childhood years (until my stepfather came along). I was addicted to Japanese romance comic books. They were worse than Hollywood movies. They portrayed the kind of romance that would never happen in real life. I grew up expecting that my future prince will be just like the characters I was reading about in those comic books. I always had a “crush” on someone I hardly knew and completely painted him in a way that fit the description of my ideal. Good thing I never dated any of my crushes – I’m sure I would have been sorely disappointed. Instead of actually getting to know some of these guys (even as friends), I was deathly shy. I spent my childhood and teenage years just dreaming away…anxiously waiting for my Prince Charming.
A New Concept
Then I met Jesus. I was first introduced to Him in seventh grade, and as the years passed, I learned about Him more and more. Not only did I come to know about Him, I began to know Him personally. I began to experience His love. I discovered the priceless truth: He is the only One who can fill the void in my life (that desire to be accepted and loved unconditionally). I cannot place that expectation on another human being. It was a huge eye-opener for me. However, even though I understood this truth in my mind, it took a bit longer for me to accept it in my heart.
“God Bless the Broken Road”
After attending Christian school and college for a total of ten years, I faced the “real world” for the first time after I graduated from college. I experienced new things and encountered much diversity. Now that I was out of my small bubble, guys began to pay attention to me. I enjoyed this very much. One guy in particular wooed my heart. He made me feel so special in a way that I always dreamed of. We quickly fell far deeper into the relationship than we had intended to. It did not take me long, however, to realize that things were not right. God (the Holy Spirit) was nudging at my heart. This guy and I had two different values and belief systems. We were not heading in the same direction. Deep inside, I knew he was not the right guy for me. I remember God whispering softly to me: Maria, you have to choose. You can’t have him and Me both. If you try to keep us both, you will have too much turmoil in your heart. I knew this was true. It was one of the hardest things I did up to this point. I had to let go of this relationship. There were many tears, but God quickly brought me to the other side of the tunnel. He showed me how disastrous of a future I was headed with this guy. I saw a whole different side of his character after the breakup. More importantly, I saw God’s grace. He protected me from heading into disaster and preserved me for the very best He had in store for me.
“More Than Enough”
One Valentine’s Day weekend in my mid-twenties, I decided to go on a “date” with God. I decided to unplug from friends, media, and family, and just enjoy being “wooed” by God. I chose the most romantic spots to spend my time: I read my Bible, relaxed, wrote on my journal, and prayed. He showered me with His love (He even tangibly expressed it: following the weekend, my parents surprised me with flowers at work). I experienced in my heart what I had known in my mind for a long time. God was truly enough. He was more than enough. His love filled every void in my heart. My joy was complete with Him. The phrase “You complete me” from Jerry Maguire rang true for me – except it wasn’t another guy who completed me, it was God. I knew this joy would never be taken away from me, even if my human “prince” never came. If and when he did come, he would just be the “icing on the cake.” My happiness and joy were complete in my one true Prince: Jesus.
A few weeks after this experience, my human prince did come…but not on a white horse. On a white airplane. Not as a prince. As a stalker. But more on that later (see marriage).
This category of my blog is dedicated to the journey of my “single” years. My posts will come from journal entries that I have written along the way, as well as the lessons that I clearly see now as I look back. I will also share from experiences of my dear friends who are currently single (with their permission, of course). I pray that these experiences and lessons will encourage the single men and women who are waiting for the right person.